#ATBR2019 – A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Released earlier this week!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the free advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews

A STRANGER ON THE BEACH – Michele Campbell (out now!)

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 2/5 stars

I read Campell’s It’s Always the Husband a couple of years ago and gave it a solid 3.5 stars with a book where I was happy to not see the characters again (and believe me, I love to hate on characters – LOVE TO).  I was absolutely thrilled to get my hands on her latest, A Stranger on the Beach.  I really, REALLY wish this had worked for me.

I was absolutely and utterly addicted to this read for the first half and then it just went sideways and took me down with it.  I was pretty much confused for the majority – is Caroline or Aidan’s view the correct one?  I was enthralled and thrilled the author had me questioning even my own thoughts as I was reading. Then about halfway through it got a bit repetitive and was starting to go in a direction that had me going OH.  I see where this is going.. and unfortunately, it caused me to roll my eyes.  Not because of the actual twists but the way in which it kind of unraveled.

I found myself literally face palming myself with the incompetency of the characters in this book.  The lawyers, the cops, the husbands, the wives.. they’re all so damn clueless and the dialogue felt forced and contrived through some sections. I just couldn’t.  However, I will say that the short chapters and my need, absolute NEED to see JUST how sideways it was going to go had me binge reading it.  And spoiler alert (jk) – it goes ZIG ZAG 😉

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

Despite having her other books on my shelf, this was my introduction to Michele Campbell. I loved the short chapters, the quick pacing, and getting into the minds of these characters. I would definitely categorize this one as a domestic thriller – a cheating husband, Caroline’s world falling apart, and a stranger that tries to place himself in the middle of it all. Things are bound to get messy, right?

You know that gut feeling you get about someone, even before you meet them? That gut feeling that usually ends up being spot on. Well, Caroline ignored that intuition when she crossed paths with Aidan. After being humiliated at her own house-warming party when her husband shows up with another woman, Caroline crosses paths again with Aidan, the local bartender, and she quickly regrets entangling her life with his. Some crazy events unfold and there’s plenty to keep you glued to the pages.

It was very interesting alternating between Caroline and Aidan for the same encounters. His vision of what was happening versus hers. I really liked that approach. I will say that things are dramatic and over-the-top, but that was something I loved. I was coming off a DNF, and this was just what I needed! Overall, if you’re looking for a thriller with some drama, then you’ll definitely want this one your summer TBR. Perfect to bring along for a beach day of reading

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